B&S Engine won't start: Hard to pull, oily gas and gassy oil

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Old 05-06-14, 11:53 PM
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B&S Engine won't start: Hard to pull, oily gas and gassy oil

I am really grateful for this forum. It has helped me more than a few times, even when I'm just browsing others' posts.

I am the proud new owner of a Craftsman Yard Vac/Shredder, with B&S model # 12h802-1777-d1 (from 2002). The previous owner seemed happy to get rid of it, for some reason... It is a good thing I enjoy a challenge and a good bargain.

The problem is it won't start, and really hard to pull the cable.

I saw spark when I let the spark plug hang out. It's too hard to pull to know if I can get consistent sparking.

If I remove the spark plug, the starting cable gets a little easier to pull. I took the pull cable assembly off and spun the flywheel with my hands to confirm. It turns with and without the plug, but it's easier without, and the air whooshing sounds all go away when the plug is out. Isn't that normal to have a little more resistance with the plug installed? But posts on this forum and elsewhere have led me to believe this could be a problem with a valve (?). I intend to pull the cylinder head off and poke around. Are there any valves there that I should poke at?

Also, it's hard to tell, but the oil might smell like gas. From this forum and others, I was under the impression this could indicate a float problem. It seems a little light in consistency, but it is also possible that I imagine the gassy smell in the oil, since the fuel tank is missing the fuel cap, and everything seemed to smell like gas at the time. But the oil level seems fine.. i.e. just in the middle of the dipstick's min/max range marks.

Also, the inside of the carburetor seems oily, and the air filter is oily. Could this indicate a breather valve problem, or piston rings? The B&S engine repair manual suggests that the breather valve failure could allow oil to be forced past the rings and all sorts of places oil shouldn't go. I'm not sure whether this is an issue, but the breather assembly is only $5, and I have no problem throwing that amount at this thing, considering the price I paid.

What do you suggest? Do I need new rings? A breather assembly? A carb kit? A compression testing kit?
 
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Old 05-07-14, 09:51 AM
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No gas cap, hard to pull, oil thin and smells like gas... all points to trash in the carb needle causing it to flood out the engine.
 
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Old 05-07-14, 06:52 PM
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Ok, thanks. I will order a carb kit and dig into that.

While I'm at it, should I order the piston rings? Do you think an oily carb is an indication of bad rings? Or, should I wait until the carb is in working order?
 
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Old 05-07-14, 07:33 PM
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I would wait. The gassy oil will blow back through the breather because it is thin. When you get it cranked, it will probably smoke like crazy. That's ok, it will stop when it burns the old oil/gas off. (after you fix the carb and change the oil).
 
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